Thursday, August 31, 2006

George Lawson of Selkirk. VIII: ‘The Doctor’

Dr. Lawson was a beloved professor, not just because he did not keep up Brown of Haddington’s custom of visiting students between six and eight in the morning to ensure that they rose early (he carried a stick and was not afraid to prod sleeping students with it). His influence on students was great and there was a clannishness about ‘Selkirk men’ for many years in the denomination. They would meet together to talk about Lawson and ‘Selkirk days’. ‘The Doctor’s’ godliness and good-humour won him the love and respect of his students.
Perhaps the best known of Lawson’s students is John Brown of Broughton Place, Edinburgh, author of many well-known commentaries published by the Banner of Truth Trust. The grandson of John Brown of Haddington, he had been blessed with advantages his gandfather had not. Unhappily he had developed a taste for the flamboyant and metaphysical in preaching, imagining that this would win him acclaim. After one of his ‘class sermons’ he was severely criticised by the other students and by a vising minister. In an interview with ‘the Doctor’ in his study that night Brown confessed that he had deserved all the criticism.
“Yes,” Dr. Lawson agreed, “I fear you have, and if I had gone into criticism I might have been more severe; but, John, we have both good reason to look well to our work, for if you come short in anything, every one will say, how much better you would have turned out if you had studied under your grandfather.”
The faithful admonition was not lost on young Brown, and he learned to preach so that ‘the common people heard him gladly.’ Spurgeon would write of him, “He is a great expositor,” and, “Brown is a modern Puritan. All his expositions are of the utmost value.” Remember, then, as you read Brown’s ‘Discourses and Sayings of Our Lord,’ his ‘Galatians’, his ‘Hebrews’, his ‘Romans’, or any other book of his, that Lawson of Selkirk’s faithful expostulation made Brown of Broughton Place what he was.



Blogger steve said...


Why don't you email me about the Coptic church. I think this sort of inquiry is best handled thru private correspondence rather than the fishbowl of T-blog.

11:47 pm  
Blogger Hiraeth said...


10:21 am  

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